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Urban and Regional Planning GSI Positions

Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs) at the University of Michigan are considered members of the community of scholars.

Graduate Student Instructor Overview

Applicants must be students in the Urban and Regional Planning Program. Only students who have satisfactory academic performance are eligible for a GSI position. Satisfactory academic progress is defined as:

  • a B average
  • no more than one outstanding incomplete
  • progress toward degree at the rate of 9 or more credits per semester

Do not apply to GSI for a course that meets at the same time as a course you will be enrolled in.

All positions require that you submit a cover letter and a resume combined into a single PDF file.

The cover letter header must include:

  • name
  • program (MURP or PhD)
  • expected date of graduation (MM/YYYY)
  • Umich email address
  • Student ID #
  • Position(s) you are applying for, listed in ranked order from highest to lowest.

Please note that only students currently enrolled at Taubman College are eligible to apply to become a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) in Taubman College. These positions, as posted, are subjected to a collective bargaining agreement between the Regents of the University of Michigan and the Graduate Employees' Organization, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO 3550.

The program chair is responsible for final selection of applicants.

All Graduate students of Taubman College are eligible to apply for GSI positions but each program hires students from within their field.

Dual-degree students must take 75% of their course work in the College of Architecture and Urban Planning, and must be enrolled for at least 6 credit hours in the term they hold a GSI position.

The percentage of effort for each position is detailed in the posting. Should enrollment warrant, and the GSI agree, an increase in percentage is possible. GSI and Faculty should check in regularly to ensure that the outline on the fraction calculation accurately reflects the effort. Unsuccessful applications will be retained for consideration in the event that there are last minute openings for available positions. In the event that an Employee does not receive his or her preferred assignment, he or she can request a written explanation or an in-person interview with the hiring agent(s) to be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon time.

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. The University will not discriminate against any applicant for employment because of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, marital status, familial status, parental status or pregnancy status, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, height, weight, disability, citizenship status, veteran status, HIV antibody status, political belief, membership in any social or political organization, participation in a grievance or complaint whether formal or informal, or any other factor where the item in question will not interfere with job performance and where the employee is otherwise qualified. The University of Michigan agrees to abide by the protections afforded employees with disabilities as outlined in the rules and regulations, which implement Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.” 

How to Apply: Fall 2021 GSI Positions

Complete both of the following steps to apply:

Step 1: Submit cover letter(s) and a resume combined into a single PDF file to the job posting at the university's career site

Position Details

Job Opening ID#: 195951
Posting dates: 4/12/2021
Working title: Urban Planning Graduate Student Instructor at Taubman College

We estimate that all positions will be filled, and the applicants notified by May 31, 2021. The percentage of effort for each position is detailed in the posting. Should enrollment warrant, and the GSI agree, an increase in percentage is possible. GSI and Faculty should check in regularly to ensure that the outline on the fraction calculation accurately reflects the effort.

Fall 2021 GSI Positions

URP 510 – Fiscal Planning and Management

Positions: up to 1
Effort: 25%

Course Description: Fiscal Planning and Management is designed to provide urban planners and related professionals with the methods of public financial management and analysis used in urban planning and public policy contexts. The course includes topics such as: fiscal planning and management systems, budgeting, revenues, intergovernmental relations, debt financing, fiscal analysis, public investment analysis and fiscal impact analysis. The course requires lecture and seminar sessions, independent reading, a short paper and problem sets. The focus is on the practical and professional rather than the theoretical aspects of fiscal planning.

GSI Responsibilities: The GSI will hold several review sessions for students whose mastery of economics requires academic support and will hold tutorials for students who are not proficient in Excel. The GSI may hold office hours to meet with students who need additional assistance in economics and/or Excel, and may conduct various exercises. The GSI will also need to grade several assignments.

Required Qualifications: Academic experience in microeconomics and Excel.  Must have successfully completed this course at Taubman OR taught this course as a GSI at Taubman.

 Desired qualifications: Intelligent, energetic and enthusiastic; interested in working with students, conscientious, well organized, good listening and reading skills, skilled in EXCEL spreadsheet development.

 Eligible:  Master and Ph.D. students in Urban Planning.


URP 506 - Planning Methods Quantitative Focus

Positions: up to  1
Appointment: 25%-35%

Course Description:  This course introduces students to quantitative methods commonly used in planning practice and urban research.  It includes extensive practice with spreadsheet-based tools to manipulate and analyze data, as well as the synthesis of data for policy formulation and analysis.  The course also includes an introduction to various data sources commonly utilized in planning practice, such as data from the US Census.  Analytic approaches include demographic analysis, population forecasting, multivariate regression, and graphic data presentation.  The emphasis is on methods in the context of planning practice and urban policy research, and employing data judiciously to support specific policy arguments.

Graduate Student Instructor Responsibilities: The GSI will attend lectures (3 hours weekly), attend planning meetings (2 hours weekly), and grade and otherwise provide feedback on regular assignments (8-10 hours weekly).  Weekly time commitment will be between 12-15 hours per week.

Required Qualifications: High level of knowledge of introductory statistics; Experience with quantitative analysis of data and spreadsheet software; Familiarity with the US Census and other commonly used planning data sources.  High-quality and succinct written English as demonstrated through a professional writing sample of 2-5 pages in length.

Preferred Qualifications: Basic understanding of research design and/or experience with multivariate regression in an applied context. Preference is given to students who have successfully completed URP 506 in a prior term.

Eligible: Masters or PhD students in Urban Planning


URP 520 - Introduction to GIS

Positions:  up to 1
Effort: 25%

Course Description: This course provides an introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology and how it may be applied to solve urban planning problems. Emphasis is on basic principles and concepts of GIS, theory and tools of spatial analysis, and broad exposure to GIS applications such as land use, infrastructure, and environmental planning. Topics include the history of GIS, hardware and software requirements, spatial data types, data formats and sources, spatial analysis techniques, making maps and reports, and fundamentals of database design.

GSI responsibilities: Attend class, lead and/or assist with discussion section(s), grade assignments, and hold office hours. Detailed assignments will be worked out with the instructor.

Required Qualifications: Professionalism (possessing the characteristics of punctuality, dependability, and accountability); Organizational ability and knowledge of GIS technology. Relevant course work, strong academic performance.

Desired Qualifications: Experience or promise in leading oral discussions, assessing student work, capacity for troubleshooting skills in working with software, and an aptitude or interest in web GIS mapping.

Eligible: Master and PhD students in Urban Planning.


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